Monthly Archives: November 2007

Streamlining the AoE boot process

A while back, I created a post on my successes with getting a workstation to boot off the network using an ATA over Ethernet (AoE) target as its root filesystem. My previous attempt required a good amount of manual intervention to get the initrd prepared. The boot process relied on gPXE to load the kernel and initrd from a TFTP server, which worked fine, but a downside of this approach is that I would need to make a new initrd and copy the new kernel over each time a new kernel package was released. With Fedora, the distro I’m using on my test machine, new kernels come out farily regularly.

While I was looking for some other piece of information, I stumbled across the means of telling gPXE how to boot directly from a AoE target without having to use TFTP to provide the kernel and initrd. This is desireable, since I wouldn’t need to do any manual intervention when new kernel updates are released. This also allows for one to install an operating system that normally isn’t network-boot-friendly, like Windows, on an AoE target. I’m not sure I would ever do that, but who knows. It might be fun.

The whole process was relatively straightforward, but I hit one major snag. The mkinitrd script that Red Hat provides doesn’t have support for AoE, so I had to write a patch to provide that support. Once that patch was in place, I was able to generate AoE-friendly initrds, and booting the OS over the network became much easier.

I documented my procedure in a wiki article so others can try it. Some of it was taken from memory, so it may not be 100% complete. My next experiment is to see if I can get Fedora to do a native install onto an AoE target.

Man, I suck.

This time…. it’s worse.


Sooo much more there than last time, which happens to be the last time I took bottles back. Definitely need to take bottles back more than once every seven months. What’s funny is that there’s a 17″ monitor on the table that’s completely obscured.

Home Theater Equipment Hates Me

So, in an eerie repeat of what happened approximately 9 months ago, my receiver decided to die. It died in the exact same fashion as it did previously, with all S-Video related video channels going south. I'm really getting tired of this crap. I have all of my Home Theater crap running through one of those overly expensive Monster surge supressing and line conditioning power strips, so I can't really believe that my stuff keeps dying due to bad power. Whatever it is, it's pissing me off.

I took it into Circuit City today to get it fixed. This is the third time that it's been taken in and subsequently sent off to their repair centers for the exact same issue. I told the lady at the desk that I wanted a replacement, and as expected, she said that she couldn't do that without receiving a notification from the repair center that it was beyond repair. Talk about crap.

Does anyone know if there is some sort of lemon law that covers stuff like this?